Ecuador is a land of fascinating history and remarkable natural beauty. This South American nation offers many surprises for those who are unfamiliar with its extraordinary qualities. With a rich culture, vibrant economy and numerous archaeological sites, Ecuador is a country with much to offer. Here are a few of the must-see activities in Ecuador.

Cotopaxi National Park

This natural area has been put aside to preserve its extraordinary beauty and biodiversity. The park, which lies 50 kilometers south of Quito, contains a number of volcanoes within its boundaries. The most active of these, Cotopaxi, which gives the park its name, erupted in 1904. Visitors enjoy hiking, bird watching, mountaineering, horseback riding and camping in this area.

Montanita Beaches

This area off of Ecuador’s western coast is popular with visitors because of the wealth of activities and fun atmosphere. Enjoy surfing, scuba diving, paragliding and a number of other recreational activities or just relax in the sun. Montanita offers a number of good restaurants and bars for nightlife. Montanita has become one of the most popular areas for new construction of hotels, homes, condos and lofts, such as those with Montanita Estates, due to the number of people choosing to re-locate to this pleasant and affordable country.

Parque Historico Guayaquil

To understand the history, natural environment and contemporary life of Ecuador, the Parque Historico Guayaquil offers a concentrated theme park experience. The park is divided into three zones: the Endangered Wildlife Zone, the Urban Architecture Zone and the Traditions Zone. Reconstructed buildings provide a look at a historic village, rural customs and the agricultural roots of the country. A café and bakery offers traditional foods of the region. Walk raised pathways that take the visitor through a variety of ecosystems to see native plants that have played a part in the economic life of the country.

Ingapirca Archaeological Site

Set in the Southern Sierra region of Ecuador, the Ingapirca Archaeological Site provides a look at the Incan culture that built structures in the area before the arrival of the Spanish explorers. The soaring walls with polished stones tell the story of a society that once lived in this beautiful region of the country. If you visit at the right time of year, you can experience reenactments of Inca rituals and life as it was in the 15th century.

With so much to offer visitors and new residents, Ecuador is becoming one of the most popular destinations in the world, and a country that is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years.